Anthony was a star on 3 levels

Published 9:34 am Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Benny Anthony

Benny Anthony, nicknamed “the Horse,” was one of the most outstanding two-sport athletes in Bainbridge High School history.

An All-State power forward on the late coach Charles Bess’s basketball team and an All-State tight end on  the late coach Prescott Forsyth’s football team as a senior in 1976, he went on to play both sports with the Auburn University Tigers.

After college, he went on to have a strong professional basketball career in New Zealand, where he still lives today.

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During a visit to Bainbridge last week, Anthony, who is 6-foot-7, recalled some of his fondest memories of  his high school, college and professional basketball and football careers.

“We had an outstanding basketball season under coach Bess in 1975,” he said. “I was a junior and was playing in the front court with two outstanding senior forwards, Jack Washington, who went on to play at Georgia Tech, and Ike Hamilton.

“We went undefeated up until the state semifinals when we played well but lost a heart breaker to Douglas High School of Atlanta.

“The winning shot was hit by Douglas guard Keith Frazier, brother of the New York Knicks All-Pro guard Walt Frazier.”

Anthony said that Bess taught him a lot of lessons that he was able to use in his later years.

“We had several strong seasons under coach Bess,” he said. “He was an outstanding coach and a real disciplinarian. I remember coach Bess being by my side when Auburn basketball coach Bob Davis came to sign me to a basketball scholarship. I played under him and head football coach Doug Barfield at Auburn.

“After college I tried out as a tight end with the National Football League Seattle Seahawks. I made it through training camp and to the final cut. I then played a little in the Continental Basketball Association before going to New Zealand, where my son B.J. is now playing professional basketball.”